Neymar has taken his stunning form at Barça onto the international stage. On Tuesday he was simply outstanding for Brazil against Japan in a friendly played in Singapore. He netted four times – with his left foot, right foot and his head. A brilliant all-round performance.
Neymar took the reins of the Brazil attack from the start. He found space, he went on solo runs and he supplied assists. The only way Japan could stop him was by fouling. And it was just after that happened that he thumped a free kick onto the bar after 17 minutes. Immediately after, Tardelli collected the ball and slipped it to his captain, who rounded keeper Kawashima and tapped the ball home.
Japan didn’t really appear until after the first goal, and Neymar was gradually forced to play further and further back. Following plenty of Japanese pressure, the final minute of the half saw the Asians get a number of chances off a corner to equalise, but the score remained 1-0.
Neymar put Brazil two-up just after the restart with a finely directed strike off a Coutinho assist. Brazil were dealing handsomely with the difficulty of playing on a poor surface in the Singapore National Stadium, and the second half was a masterclass in counter attacking flair. With half an hour to go, Neymar almost completed his hat-trick, but his effort skimmed just wide of the post.
Coutinho and Robinho both failed to make the most of the sweetest of assists from Neymar and in the end it was the Barça man himself who got his and Brazil’s third with a splendid piece of opportunism. And that wasn’t all he had to offer. Shortly before the end, a spectacular header made it four goals for Brazil, and four goals for Neymar. Tremendous stuff.